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Citing Sur Baher demolitions, Irish charity urges government advance settlements goods bill

July 26, 2019 at 10:25 am

A tourist photographs a sign painted on a wall in the West Bank town of Bethlehem on 5 June 2015, calling to boycott products coming from Israeli settlements [THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images]

A major Irish charity has renewed calls for the government to pass legislation banning the import of produce made in illegal West Bank settlements.

Trócaire made the call as it condemned the recent demolitions of Palestinian homes – “illegal under international law” – by Israeli occupation authorities in Sur Baher.

“Demolitions in the village of Sur Baher serve only to undermine the human rights of Palestinians and jeopardise hopes for long-term peace and a two-state solution,” said Trócaire CEO Caoimhe de Barra.

“Reports in Israeli media have detailed how Palestinians have invested their savings in building homes for their families only to see them destroyed,” she said.

READ: Netanyahu vows never to dismantle illegal Israel settlements

According to de Barra, “decisions taken in relation to planning in this community are clearly motivated by the Israeli Government’s unjust desire to disconnect Palestinian communities in the occupied Palestinian territory.”

The charity CEO described the demolitions and associated discriminatory policy as “yet another example of the need for Ireland and the EU to take a stand against Israeli authorities’ flagrant disregard of international law.”

“We call on the Irish Government to support the Occupied Territories Bill,” said de Barra, “which is expected to return to the Dáil in the autumn, in order to further the cause of long-term peace.”

The bill has already been passed by both houses in Ireland’s parliament, but there remains the possibility that the government will seek to intervene to halt the legislation. Should the bill eventually become law, it would be the first of its kind in the world.

READ: Amnesty demands Trip Advisor stop promoting Israel settlements

Buying products from illegal Israeli settlements [Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Buying products from illegal Israeli settlements – [Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]